Friday, 25 March 2011

Under Pressure

Earlier this year I have watched an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show, "5 things you should do in 2011". One of them was: Know your numbers. I don't really know what exactly causes high blood pressure, if it is the weight, the stress, the diet. I only know it is a hazard to your life. "Blood pressure below 120 over 80 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) is considered optimal for adults."

Today a bumble bee visited my window box and after digging in the flowers (it was excited to find this great yellow flower in bloom), the bumble bee took a warming bath in the sun and did not want to leave. It was just resting there. The image of the bumble bee sitting on the flower that I planted last winter was on my mind today. A nice image.

When I got layed off age 30, shortly before the company went bancrupt, I said to myself "I am glad this does not happen when I am age 50 for the first time. If it will ever happen again, I will be prepared. I believe you develop a kind of emotional immune system over the years so experiences can't hit and hurt you as badly when they happen 2nd or 3rd time around.

You can tell from the photo I took this evening, spring arrived (men wearing shorts).

I have spent a lot of time in hospitals lately, my mum had an operation today.
After returning back home from the ICU I said to myself: "I am thankful this happens now for the first time now, age 38 and not in an earlier stage of my life" - looking after my mother at the ICU* ... and being in charge at least for a few hours a day to disburden my father as much as possible since he isn't the youngest man anymore.

Friend T from Japan said to today me " Take care!" She is right, I should not forget looking after myself, too. The image of the bumble bee somehow helps me. Preparing a brioche-dough helps, too.

Another way of taking care - besides eating and resting would be this:
This morning I had a doctor's appointment, for my regular pap-test, twice a year. My sister hasn't taken on over 2 years. You got to know this: cancer cells can develop out of the blue within half a year, year, so go ladies and get your pap-test ... NOW**! In Austria the health insurance covers the test twice a year, in other countries probably less often, but once a year is the minimum. (no, my mum does not have cancer)

Enjoy your weekend and take care :-)

*unfortunately the nurses are not as attentive as we wish they would be. :-(

**ok, friday afternoon or saturday might not the best time. So call the doctor next week. Write it down in your agenda for next monday: "Call the doctor/ pap-test!"


  1. Pap test and mammography and breast ultrasound are a must for me, on an yearly basis.
    I hope your mum gets well soon.

  2. Marcela, now that's consequent! I plan on starting with mammographies age 40, since there are no female cancer deseases known in my family. The surgery for my mum today was probably the worst part of the whole procedure, now she can get well again.

  3. hi paula,

    thanks for the reminder i will call my doc on monday and schedule an appointment. happy weekend.


  4. Hi Paula --

    Hope your mother is progressing well, and that you take the advice to take care of yourself, too. I'm sure it's a big relief for your parents to have you there.

    Austria's so cute with its generous health coverage. In the US they've moved "general/lower-risk behavior" PAP recommendations from 1/year to once every 2-3. It'll probably hit once/decade before much longer....

  5. HI Paula,
    The Austrian Lady got the housekeeping job.
    We know we are in for some really fun times.
    She is very disciplined and is going to really create order in my mad household.
    I am going to have fun keeping you posted about how we gradually become "Austrianized".

    Sorry to hear the nursing is not so good, it seems to be a worldwide problem,shortage of nurses everywhere.
    (I'm going to get Elisabeth to tach me how to sign off in Austrian.

  6. Hi janet! Best wishes for the appointment.

    Vix, I took a long walk with my best friend on sunday, some small mountains in the north of Vienna. The weather was rough but we were prepared (nothing can terrify me after those skimounaineering weekends. hehe).
    I've heard that some insurances even in Europe don't cover the PAP-test.
    Today I noticed it is time to start taking proper care of my father, too. His emotional state is really bottom line. He probably experiences deja vues from his parents' history. Good there are grandchildren, tomorrow he will cook for the youngest granddaughter, 8yrs old, what means perfect distraction.

    Louise, I am SO happy you chose her! I really like the idea of the Austrian connection that grows stronger. Today I had a box of chocolates with me for the nurses. Their faces brightended up immediately. Since my mum will stay for at least another week in the hospital, it is the right time to start proper bribing. Let me sign of Austrian right here: Baba! (pronouncend: Bah bah). or: Servus (pronouncation: ?!?)

  7. I hope emotional immunity works for everyone...

  8. WB, it seems as if we already built up a bit of it during the last week. My mum will have the 2nd surgery later this week and I am much calmer than I was last week. Maybe we all stay calmer because we know the first one went fine. :-)

  9. Dear Paula, I do hope your Mum is ok and out of hospital soon. xxxx

  10. Hi Blighty, thank you for your comment! She was very brave and had 2 surgeries on two following Fridays. Today, 2 days after the 2nd surgery, she's looking good.
    It all started with headaches and vomiting and in the end she had 2 aneuryms clipped (you can not really remove them) in her BRAINS! Today my father and I stood at her bed and we both had the same thoughts (you could actually read them from the look of our faces): someone had his fingers in our mum's brains. The first wound was stitched but the second got tacked, what makes her look like Frankenstein, because both wounds are on the forehead. :-/ The metal parts will be removed.
    I must now stop eating soothing homemade chocolate-peantubutter-cups. a) my skin regresses to a teenager-skin, b)not the best idea munching them before with the Bikini-season ahead.
    You can tell by my today's comment how reliefed I am the surgeries did not cause any damage. pfouh.

  11. Good to hear! That's a relief.